The Perks and Pitfalls of Boomerang Employees: A Few Things to Know.

BY Nicole Sopkovich   |  

Would you consider re-hiring ex-staff members into your company?

As Businesses increasingly focus on employee retention as a key strategy for success, the concept of “boomerang employees” is gaining popularity.

Today’s businesses operate in fast-paced conditions, and employers constantly look for top personnel. However, there are chances that former business employees may wish to return. These employees, also known as boomerang employees, can be advantageous to a business, but remember, every coin has its flip side.

Let’s check out boomerang employees’ benefits and drawbacks and what businesses should know before re-hiring them.

Understanding The Stats.

 What are the statistics saying about boomerang employees in the UK?

Over1 20% of employees who left their jobs during the pandemic have returned to their previous employers, according to a recent international poll.

  • 15% of employees have returned to a former employer.
  • 40% of workers say they would consider returning to their prior employer if given a chance. This comprises 21% of Baby Boomers, 33% of Gen Xers, and 46% of Millennials.
  • According to 76% of HR experts, recruiting boomerang workers is now more acceptable than it was in the past.
  • Around half of the former employees who reapplied for jobs with their employer were hired, according to 40% of HR professionals.
  • Boomerang job seekers who are left in good standing are given high or very high priority, according to 56% of HR experts and 51% of managers.
  • According to 33% of HR experts and 38% of managers, the significant advantages of hiring back former employees are already being familiar with the business culture and having lower training requirements.

The above statistics come from Workplace Trends’ Business Culture and Boomerang Employee Study2

Clearly, boomerangs have both positive and negative effects. As a result, employers must find a way to take advantage of the hiring possibilities while minimising retention concerns.


Boomerang Employees: Boon or Bane for Your Business

In the business world, goodbyes aren’t necessarily final. Boomerang employees returning with new skills and experience or their existing clientele can be advantageous, but the grass is not always greener on the other side. Therefore, ensure you know the boomerang employees’ advantages and disadvantages before considering someone to return.

Pros of boomerang employees

  1. Fast-Forward Process: Boomerang employees may be able to get through the hiring process more quickly. Previous employees’ credentials, criminal history, and professional background may have previously been thoroughly investigated during their initial recruiting, necessitating only a cursory examination for more recent experience gaps. These quick cuts may result in considerable time and expense savings where security checks or safeguarding are essential to hiring for a position.
  2. Easier To Assess: Managers and HR may still have records and personal memories of employees’ strengths and flaws in performance during their initial job. This can speed up and simplify determining whether a boomerang candidate is a good fit for a particular role and team.

  3. Efficient Induction: If there haven’t been any significant changes to business culture, procedures, or working methods after their initial leave, they should already be familiar with these elements. This could result in less time, effort, and money being expended on onboarding to get a new employee acclimated to the team, up to speed with tasks, and ready to contribute to the business.

  4. Simpler Socialisation: This employee might still be well-known to the current staff and be able to seamlessly reintegrate into team conversations, workflows, and social events. 

Cons of Boomerang employees 

The decision to bring back boomerang employees may have drawbacks as well. Therefore, business and HR professionals should carefully evaluate several variables before re-hiring. Possible disadvantages, which mostly rely on the employee’s initial reasons for quitting the business, could include the following:

  1. Outdated Knowledge or Perspective: A boomerang employee may need to forget how things used to be done and adjust to the new working environment if a business’s culture or methods of operation have changed considerably. When deciding to return, they must be well informed of and tolerant of any substantial changes that may have occurred throughout the business. Otherwise, looking backwards could impede growth and aggravate others.

  2. Past Disagreements in Professional Partnerships: If the same co-workers or managers who caused a boomerang employee to leave the business in the past are still employed there, the same problems can arise again. HR leaders should ensure they can collaborate effectively with important former co-workers when bringing anyone back into the business.

  3. Disengagement: When boomerang employees return to a workplace where they previously mastered a role, they could feel at ease but under-challenged. Employees and HR should evaluate whether a returning employee has enough passion for the position and enough challenge to motivate them and keep engagement. Both on-site and remote employees must be engaged, and various approaches are required for each. It has to be remembered that they did exit for a reason.

  4. Lack of dedication: An individual who has previously left a business may be less committed to it and more likely to do so again. This potential should be considered when investing in their training and other resources.


Causes for Boomerang Employees’ Leaving and Returning

An employee may leave a business for several reasons, including a better job offer, a lack of prospects for growth or progress, unhappiness with the working environment, or personal considerations. Yet, several things, including a desire for a more stable work environment, the possibility of reuniting with their former co-workers, or greater prospects, can prompt individuals to return to the business.

Additionally, some employees depart the business for personal reasons like health problems, family duties, or relocation. When these problems are fixed, people could want to return to the business because they may have already developed loyalty and trust.


Factors To Contemplate Before Re-Hiring Boomerang Employees

It’s crucial to consider several criteria before re-hiring an employee. The first thing businesses may do is figure out why the employee left the business in the first place. Also, you want to assess their output and productivity while your business employs them. It’s doubtful that the person will perform better during their second employment if they leave the business owing to subpar performance.

The reason the employee wants to return to the business should also be considered. Alternatively, do they honestly think your business best fits them? Or are they returning because they haven’t received any other job offers? Assessing their justifications for returning is critical to ascertain whether they fit the business well.

It would help to consider how the boomerang employee’s return would affect the current workforce. For example, will the returning employee fit in well with the culture? Will they be able to get along with their previous co-workers? Before re-hiring a boomerang employee, these issues must be considered.


Managing Techniques for Boomerang Employees

Having a clear plan to reduce the possible dangers of hiring boomerang employees is critical. Inform the current staff why this employee is returning to the business and the benefits they bring.

Also, providing a detailed job description and set of expectations is critical. Like any other employee, the individual should be judged on their performance and the calibre of their work. This review will encourage the employee to make their best effort and help calm any worries about loyalty.

Another tactic is providing an opportunity for the boomerang employee’s growth and development. This will keep them interested and motivated, and they will be able to contribute added information and ideas to the business.


Boomerang employees can offer a business several benefits. They can contribute new talents and experiences because they know the business’s culture, policies, and processes. But it’s crucial to assess their motivations for returning, their performance and work quality while the business previously employed them, and the influence on the current workforce, before re-hiring them. You gain from their contributions to the business by having a clear plan, offering chances for growth and development, and preserving a work-life balance.

Do you have further points to add to this discussion? Reach out to MBA on our social media pages and share your thoughts with us.


End Notes


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